30 Days Of Meditation.
As this post goes to print, I will have or will be completing my 43rd consecutive day of meditating.
My main thought as I contemplate the experience is…
Why didn’t I start this sooner?
Oh, I had the litany of regular excuses. The main one being that I couldn’t make the time.
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Pelicans in flight… Pt 2 . .Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too a high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. -Ralph Waldo Emerson . . . . . #fiftyshades_of_nature #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #travelgram #travelblogger #travelawesome #instatravel #destinationearth #roamtheplanet #optoutside #birdsofinstagram #pocket_beaches #pocket_allnature #rsa_outdoors #ipulledoverforthis #naturehippys #naturelovers #livefolk #lifeofadventure #liveauthentic #stayandwander #visitnc #exploretocreate #beachvibes #staysalty #modernoutdoors #forgeyourownpath #thehappynow
The challenge forced me to make the time.
On October 1st-8th, I used a variety of 10-15 minute YouTube videos during my meditation time. Some were guided meditations and some were only music.
Starting on October 9th and for the ensuing 3 weeks, I participated in a meditation challenge that was lead by the teacher, Light Watkins. The challenge was mantra based.
I found the mantras to be extremely useful because my mind has the tendency to wander…a lot.
October 22nd-October 31st and since I have once again returned to YouTube videos. I tend to pick music based ones and then use a mantra to bring back my focus when my mind begins to wander.
I Am Committed To My Personal Growth And Evolution.
This was one of the mantras that resonated with me. Meditation for me began as a way to grow and evolve. I’ve also occasionally employed this mantra during my runs in training for a 5k. In moments where I wanted to stop, repeating this mantra was a reminder that I am challenging myself to growth.
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For what it's worth: It's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over. -F. Scott Fitzgerald . .(photo from this past fall) . . . . . #loveva #virginiacities #virginiaisbeautiful #blueridgeday #mountains #themountainsarecalling #rsa_outdoors #rsa_folknature #pocket_allnature #pocket_trees #fingerprintofgod #fiftyshades_of_nature #liveauthentic #livefolk #wildernessculture #nature #naturelovers #landscape #naturalvirginia #finditliveit #itsamazingoutthere #neverstopexploring #nikon #ipulledoverforthis #optoutside #tree_captures #travelgram
Spending time in nature has always been a grounding place for me. A place to calm my overactive mind. The mind that is always analyzing everything I say. The one that is critical of my decisions. The internal chatter that is rarely quiet. The monkey mind that ramps up my anxieties and causes me to climb down the rabbit hole of “what-ifs”.
Now I have another tool for grounding myself. A way of keeping that wandering mind from spiraling down the never-ending cascade of thoughts. A way to stay in the present moment.
To focus on the now.
This Moment Is Perfect, Whole, And Complete.
This is the mantra that I find myself returning to again and again.
It’s easy for me to often get lost in the… “when I check off this box” or “complete this list”…then I will enjoy this moment.
Often, though, that is a neverending litany of things. All the while, moments are slipping by unnoticed. We only have so many breaths on this earth and we don’t know how many. Isn’t that time much better spent recognizing that THIS MOMENT… the one RIGHT NOW is where you are existing?
Not the past, not the future…but NOW.
I get that those words are easier said than done. Boy, do I ever get it! I’m pretty sure that why meditation and/or mindfulness is a practice, not another achievement that culminates in a completion.
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One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. -William Shakespeare . . Snow is supposed to be back on Sunday ❄️❄️❄️ . . . #loveva #blueridgeday #visualsoflife #exploretocreate #nikon #livefolk #liveauthentic #wildernessculture #keepitwild #lifeofadventure #winterwonderland #landscape #nature #naturehippys #naturelovers #trees #pocket_allnature #pocket_trees #rsa_folknature #optoutside #naturalvirginia #fingerprintofgod #fiftyshades_of_nature #neverstopexploring #ipulledoverforthis #artofvisuals #virginiaisbeautiful #travelgram #bevisuallyinspired
I am still a baby in the world of meditation. Slowly walking through which forms and messages resonate most with me. I think whatever path you follow is very personal.
Let yourself silently be drawn to the strange pull of what you really love. -Rumi
I mentioned that during my 30 Days Of Meditation that I also read Dan Harris’s 10% Happier. He mentioned a form of meditation that I had not heard about.
One particular day during the 30 days, I decided to try it. I found a guided version. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a loving-kindness meditation that directs well wishes at people, including yourself.
The one that I did has you start by focusing on yourself and mentally repeat the following:
May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I be loved.
Then you move on to somebody that you care about and focus on the same message. Then somebody that you don’t really know (for example, a cashier) and then for somebody that you have friction with (this is obviously the hardest one). It can be a very emotional meditation as you go through this process.
For me, I had been in some recent conflict with the person I chose for the last one. I’m not very good at creating physical images in my mind. But on this specific person, they immediately came into focus. Strangely they were standing in a field of wheat or savannah grasses and they were offering something in their hands. I tried to see what it was, but I could not.
This was very emotional for me, especially because I was not expecting to visualize them standing in this field. This type of field (I just know it’s golden, long grasses and not something I’ve seen in real life) played prominently in a dream that I had in my mid 20’s. I was going through a stressful period in my life and one night I had a dream that I was walking along a boardwalk built through these grasses. I came upon a gazebo-type structure and as I stood in there, I could see a light coming in toward me. Somehow I knew that this was God and as the light passed, I felt an unexplainable peace unlike any I’d ever felt before or have ever felt since. For quite a time after that dream, I was able to draw upon that feeling during moments of stress.
Have you ever had a dream that was so rememberable that it spent days on your mind?
This similarity created an emotional release during this part of the meditation and I felt better for having gone through this process.
Are you good at visualization? I’m very good at imagination and descriptive thoughts, but not so much at being specific about what I want my mind’s eye to create. Do you find that it gets easier the more you practice?
Our lives are seasonal, just like nature.
There are times when life feels like the sunny-filled days of summer and other times when the despair creeps in and feels like the bitter, gray days of winter.
It’s in those moments that I will now have a new thing to repeat to myself.
My True Happiness Is Sourced From Within.
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The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes. -Mark Nepo . .The sound of bees buzzing all around this tree, moving from blossom to blossom, was a great reminder of the interconnectedness of this planet. . . . #modernoutdoors #loveva #virginiaisbeautiful #virginiastate_photos #naturalvirginia #explorevirginia #exploretocreate #naturehippys #naturelovers #fiftyshades_of_nature #fingerprintofgod #sheisnotlost #livefolk #liveauthentic #lifeofadventure #travelgram #travelawesome #stayandwander #forgeyourownpath #pocket_allnature #rsa_folknature #ipulledoverforthis #thehappynow #optoutside #lifestyleblogger #travelblogger #destinationearth #roamtheplanet #folkgood #pocket_dof
They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit.
I feel like meditation has firmly found a place in my life. I love watching it spill into my life outside of my meditation time. In those moments when I pause, reframe, and then respond instead of reacting. In those moments when I am able to quiet the “what-if” spiral. In those moments when I recognize my true nature. In those moments where my light shines brightly.
While I have read other (probably more accurate) meanings behind the word Namaste, I have never forgotten that decades ago I was given this definition:
The Light In Me Bows To The Light In You.
Let your light shine!